A Room for London
Designed in collaboration with Turner Prize-nominated artist Fiona Banner, the project was commissioned by Living Architecture and Artangel following an open international competition that attracted over five hundred entrants.
The Room is in the form of a boat, balanced on the edge of the Queen Elizabeth Hall roof, seemingly beached by the receding waters of the Thames below. Named ‘Roi des Belges,’ after the paddle steamer that Joseph Conrad captained up the Congo that inspired his novella Heart of Darkness, the craft is an invitation to travel through literature and one’s imagination. An extraordinary panoramic view of London, stretching from Big Ben in the west to St. Paul’s in the east, allows guests aboard to see the city in a new light.
During the 2012 Olympic year, the arts organisation Artangel invited musicians, writers and artists to take up residency and produce work related to the themes of the project. This led to performances aboard by David Byrne, Jarvis Cocker and Baaba Maal, and podcasts by Colm Tóibín, Michael Ondaatje and Jeanette Winterson.
‘A Room for London’ won D&AD, Designs of the Year, Condé Nast and New London awards in 2012 and RIBA London award in 2013.
Rooftop installation in collaboration with artist Fiona Banner
South Bank, London
Living Architecture in association with Artangel
David Kohn, Tom McGlynn, Liz Betterton, Saya Hakamata
Max Fordham LLP
Price & Myers
RIBA London Award 2012
Condé Nast Design Award 2012
Designs of the Year 2012, Nominated
D&AD Yellow Pencil 2012, Nominated